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The South Shore railroad has connections to Chicago and as far east as South Bend, Indiana. It generally runs on time but there are construction delays from time to time and service in bad weather-rain or extreme cold-can be delayed.
The ride to downtown Chicago is about 40 minutes. There are two major stops in Chicago-Van Buren/Michigan at the south end of the loop (good for visiting the Art Institute and the Museum campus) and Randolph/Michigan at the north end (good for visiting Michigan Avenue shopping, State Street shopping, Millennium Park). There are also stops at Pullman and 12th St./Roosevelt Rd (Shedd, Field, Soldier Field).
Tickets are cheaper if you buy them at the station during busy hours, an additional $1 is tacked on if you buy on the train.
Regular commuters can buy 10 ride passes (no discount), 25 ride (slight discount) and monthly passes.
There are reduced one way fares for children 13 or younger, seniors 65 and over, and passengers with disabilities. Children under 13 travel for free with an adult in the off peak hours.
There are also weekend and family fares, see the website below for more details.
Fares are significantly cheaper if you travel from the next station, Hegewisch, but you have to pay to park there and you don't in Hammond.
Updated Oct 7, 2008
The State of Indiana followed the lunacy of Illinois by requiring that casinos be on the water, taking away yet more of the precious natural/recreational nature of Lake Michigan. This windowless boat never leaves the docks although I guess if you are a serious gambler that you probably don't care.
Originally the casinos had artificial "boarding" times but now there is open access 24 hours a day. At least they have dropped the pretense that this is a real boat.
The Marina just lost several of it's launching docks for day trip boaters causing quite a mess on the weekends, reportedly due to expansion for Horseshoe.
Unique Suggestions: Since it's here and not likely going away anytime soon, I suppose I should be encouraging visitors to come as the street in front of my house hasn't been repaved yet.....
I have heard from friends that the Jack Binion's Steakhouse here is really good but expensive but at least you are getting something for your money instead of just handing it over to Mr. Binion. Lunch is much more affordable than dinner, I suspect the high prices in the evening is due to comped meals, they want the gamblers to think they are getting something expensive.
Fun Alternatives: The alternative? Give me your money instead, Jack Binion (owner of Horseshoe) doesn't need it.
Updated Jan 17, 2005